The Ministry of Transport is determined to equitise SOEs under its control to improve production and business activities, Transport Minister Dinh La Thang spoke to the Tin Tuc (News) Newspaper.

*About 44 out of the 100 State-owned enterprises that have been equitised nationwide in the past three years are under the ministry's control. What are the factors that led to this success?

The ministry is determined to complete the task. Each deputy minister has been told to urge businesses under their control to take responsibility for privatisation. CEOs and general managers of these enterprises face being shifted to other positions if they do not join in the process.

In addition, the ministry, in collaboration with other ministries, sectors and localities, has taken steps to accelerate the process. Those involved in carrying out the task should not be reluctant because the job is tough, but show determination.

Recently, the media reported that I dismissed a leader of a traffic project due to endless delays. Actually, I did not sack anyone. Those who fail to complete their duties are transferred to other positions. This is not a personal decision, but one of the provisions of staff management.

*Some say the State should retain just a small proportion of State-owned enterprises or even sell them completely. What do you think?

Enterprises that the State does not need to totally own will definitely be sold. However, the sales must provide effective equitisation and reach the target of capital withdrawal. Measures should be taken to prevent losses, waste and corruption during the process.

The Ministry of Transport understands that private firms will do better than State-owned enterprises in construction and installation processes. Therefore, the ministry has ordered enterprises in charge of these processes to sell all stakes.

*The ministry has also selected hospitals to join the privatisation process. Why?

Foreign-invested and private hospitals in Vietnam are operating effectively and free from bribery or corruption. Thus, in my opinion, the State does not have to invest so much of its budget on hospitals as the private sector can do the task better.

The exceptions are hospitals involved in social-welfare policies, such as social health insurance backed by the Ministry of Health. Private hospitals are not included in the health insurance process.

This move should attract more capital sources, increase the control of shareholders and improve the quality of service.

*The Government plans to complete equitisation of more than 430 businesses by the end of next year. What needs to be done to achieve this?

In my opinion, the process of equitisation needs more action. The National Assembly should pressure the Government to accelerate the restructuring of State-owned enterprises. The Government, in turn, can put pressure on ministries and branches. This will help motivate them.

*Could you comment on the restructuring and equitisation of the Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (Vinashin) and the Vietnam Maritime Corporation (Vinalines)?

Under the direction of the Politburo and the Government, Vinashin has been equitised, but has kept 70 per cent of its shipbuilding capacities. The ministry will end the pilot period and move it to full corporation status by 2015.

Currently, Vinashin, now known as the Shipbuilding Industry Corporation, has maintained eight shipbuilding enterprises.

Vinalines has also restructured its finances and shipbuilding interests. The Government asked the corporation to focus on maritime and port business. This year, Vinalines will outline its equitisation process for Government approval.-VNA